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Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/6/2009 11:44:44 PM   
GaryChildress

 

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When you buy a game that has a Grand Campaign (GC) and also smaller campaigns, do you typically play the smaller campaigns, the GC or both? Whenever I buy a game with a GC, for some reason, I always find myself attracted to the GC and completely ignore the smaller campaigns or scenarios. I guess my logic is that by playing the GC I am basically, more or less, playing all the smaller campaigns wrapped up into one. So I sort of see the smaller campaigns as redundant or unnecessary unless I am trying to learn the game or something. Even when I am trying to learn the game I usually end up trying to learn via the GC. In fact the ONLY thing I don't like about Close Combat Modern Tactics is that it lacks any kind of campaign.

The only exception to this "rule" for me is RTS games like Command & Conquer, Age of Empires or other similar RTS games which are purely science fiction. For some reason I rather play stand alone scenarios in "skirmish" mode in games like these. Something about campaigns in purely fiction games just doesn't appeal to me. I don't know why.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/7/2009 2:08:59 AM   
V22 Osprey


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In HPS games like Panzer Campaigns, I play smaller campaigns against AI but always play grand campaign in PBEM.

In RTS games though it is all about the skirmish, campaigns usually suck and are a waste of time.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/7/2009 3:46:44 AM   
madgamer2

 

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I have to ask some one this question.....Are RTS games really reflective of real time? I do not believe they really are a representation of real time at all. The closest thing to that type of game that I play a lot of is Oblivion and its not a true RTS game. I don't mind games that are turn based except for combat as much but still believe that RTS games are an illusion so am I alone here? or just an old guy not willing to change my old game habits?

Madgamer

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/7/2009 11:11:03 AM   
leastonh1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: V22 Osprey
In RTS games though it is all about the skirmish, campaigns usually suck and are a waste of time.

I'm exactly the same. If a game doesn't have skirmish or some kind of random scenario generator, I generally don't bother buying.

My absolute favourite at the moment is Panzer Command Kharkov. The random battle generator is a lot of fun and has given me many extra hours of gaming I wouldn't have had otherwise. I haven't even tried the campaign generator yet.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/7/2009 1:49:17 PM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

When you buy a game that has a Grand Campaign (GC) and also smaller campaigns, do you typically play the smaller campaigns, the GC or both ...


I usu. play both, otherwise I'm not getting my money's worth.

Typically, shorter scenarios tend to be scripted and thus have more of a historical flavor, but all your options, i.e., economic, research, etc., are usu. only available in a GC.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/7/2009 2:02:46 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: madgamer

I have to ask some one this question.....Are RTS games really reflective of real time? I do not believe they really are a representation of real time at all. The closest thing to that type of game that I play a lot of is Oblivion and its not a true RTS game. I don't mind games that are turn based except for combat as much but still believe that RTS games are an illusion so am I alone here? or just an old guy not willing to change my old game habits?



Oblivion is an RPG (role-playing game), not an RTS at all.

The simple answer is that it depends on the game. 'Real-time strategy' covers a huge variety of styles, but sticking to the more 'wargamey' titles they can be. Both Close Combat and Combat Mission: Shock Force are true 'real time' if you want them to be. HttR and CotA are continuous rather than 'real' time, which in view of their operational scale they really have to be. Obviously as you move away from realism titles to the 'classic' style RTS gameplay that originated with Dune 2 and can be seen in Starcraft, Age of Empires, Company of Heroes etc they aren't a true representation of 'real time', but then they were never meant to be. You could even argue that the whole concept of 'real time' being referred to has shifted; rather than any reflection of the outside world the term is being applied independently to the actual gameplay itself, particularly to distinuish it from turn based gameplay.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/7/2009 3:26:13 PM   
Charles2222


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I never liked the idea of starting on a "short scenario", because it wasn't the scenarios I bought the game for. A lot of learning from a scenario is a complete waste of time, if in fact the campaign is your goal. For all I have to do while learning in a campaign, is start over again when I notice some sort of considerable problem with my newness to the game being a hinderance. What happens is you're applying you brain to precisely what you will be doing, so you don't have any crutches such as is supposedly the strength of a scenario. You learn full force what you're up against, and restarting when there is an obvious flaw reaps totally the benefit of playing a scenario, but one which has everything you need to do. It also helps to an extent get an idea what you will be facing those first turns in terms of the enemy, unlike how a typical scenario isn't just a clip of the grand campaign, but something else somewhat. To me, playing something watered down, is like learning another game, as you might scenario so much that the new aspects in the campaign will carry the frustration that it really is a different game from the scenarios.  

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/8/2009 1:00:58 PM   
SS Hauptsturmfuhrer


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I always like the Grand Campaign better, though I started to like scenarios when I got Battles in Normandy.  I like the ongoing struggle of a good campaign like there is in Warlords Darklords Rising.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/8/2009 4:04:09 PM   
Yogi the Great


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In most cases I tend to play the grand campaign, as chances are it was probably the "campaign" topic that attracted me to the game to begin with.

Although for example in the HPS civil war series, I also occaisionally will play the main battle scenarios at times.  Especially if I want to be closer to the actual historic battle situation.  For example if you play the Gettysburg campaign, you may not fight at Gettysburg at all, and/or if you do, it will no longer be the "historic" battle situation by the time you get there.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/8/2009 4:28:04 PM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Yogi the Great
... I also occaisionally will play the main battle scenarios at times.  Especially if I want to be closer to the actual historic battle situation.  For example if you play the Gettysburg campaign, you may not fight at Gettysburg at all, and/or if you do, it will no longer be the "historic" battle situation by the time you get there.


That's the downside of many Grand Campaigns titles; you miss many of the historical events, which are hopefully off-set by creating your own history.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/9/2009 1:30:41 AM   
Fred98


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My favourite way to play a wargame is PBEM.

If the Grand Campaign is 200 emails long, that will probably take more than 400 days against a typical opponent.

There is nothing worse than reach email #67 (that’s 124 days) and finding that you need to restart because of some game mechanic you didn’t know about.

Also, when a game is new it can generate excitement, but then some players realise it is not for them and a PBEM game is not completed.

I prefer to start with the Scenarios. I get to learn the game mechanics and I get a feel for the game in different parts of the map and in different weather conditions.

After playing every scenario, by PBEM starting with the shortest and moving up to the longest, and from both sides, only then am I ready to play the Grand Campaign.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/9/2009 3:03:41 PM   
mack2


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Couldn't be more wrong about RTS campaigns.

Yes, whilst skirmish is always going to be the core way anyone who plays long-term and especially online is going to play, if you simply skip the campaigns you can miss out on great gaming and story. Some great campaigns include Starcraft and it's expansion Brood Wars, the Warcraft series, Red Alert 1/2 (unless you have an aversion to cheese), Homeworld, Dawn of War, Company of Heroes, all had great campaigns.



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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/9/2009 5:47:53 PM   
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I agree. I think the term "zerg" originated from the 2nd or 3rd mission in Starcraft where the zerglings attack. I still remember that mission and I played it at release.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/9/2009 5:55:52 PM   
Chad Harrison


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As for grand campaigns, for me they are the reason I buy those type of games. However, I will play the smaller scenarios/campaigns to get a better feel for the way the game plays and then dive into a grand campaign. While waiting for AE, I fired up HOI:II. I first played a couple of the set piece battles are more of an extended tutorial, then went onto the grand campaigns. After that point, theres no reason to go back to the small games IMHO.

Funny to see others play RTS the same way. In the later titles, especially Relic's, I would play the campaign once and then after that I would only play skirmishes. Or take the original Combat Mission series. Was there anything outside of quick battles?

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/9/2009 7:45:21 PM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chad Harrison
... Or take the original Combat Mission series. Was there anything outside of quick battles?


There certainly was: although the longer campaigns were unwieldy and sometimes tedious, many single battles were based on historical events and were often excellent; I had my favorites.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/9/2009 8:07:45 PM   
Jim D Burns


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

When you buy a game that has a Grand Campaign (GC) and also smaller campaigns, do you typically play the smaller campaigns, the GC or both? Whenever I buy a game with a GC, for some reason, I always find myself attracted to the GC and completely ignore the smaller campaigns or scenarios. I guess my logic is that by playing the GC I am basically, more or less, playing all the smaller campaigns wrapped up into one. So I sort of see the smaller campaigns as redundant or unnecessary unless I am trying to learn the game or something. Even when I am trying to learn the game I usually end up trying to learn via the GC. In fact the ONLY thing I don't like about Close Combat Modern Tactics is that it lacks any kind of campaign.

The only exception to this "rule" for me is RTS games like Command & Conquer, Age of Empires or other similar RTS games which are purely science fiction. For some reason I rather play stand alone scenarios in "skirmish" mode in games like these. Something about campaigns in purely fiction games just doesn't appeal to me. I don't know why.



I'm like you, I enjoy the large historical grand campaigns to the exclusion of the smaller scenarios that might be included in a wargame title. In fact I never play a smaller scenario at all. But when it comes to sci-fi, I prefer the smaller stand alone scenarios or skirmish mode if it is available.

I attribute this to one thing, my intense interest in military history. If I'm playing a campaign about an historical event that I'm familiar with, I want to play the entire thing, not just a small snippet of what I've read about.

If I'm playing some sci-fi or fantasy game, I'm totally disinterested in learning the arbitrary details about the grand campaign some guy made up on the fly. I'd much rather just enjoy playing the game system itself and that is accomplished easily with the smaller scenarios or in skirmish mode.

It's the game system itself that I play sci-fi or fantasy games for, not the story line, and it's my interest in history that attracts me to wargames. Between the two kinds of games, I much prefer wargames, and that is 100% due to the fact my real hobby is military history.

In a world without games, I'd spend almost 100% of my time reading history, and very little time reading sci-fi or fantasy. I bet those who enjoy the grand campaigns in those kinds of games probably prefer reading sci-fi or fantasy over history as well.

Jim


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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/9/2009 11:35:14 PM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim D Burns
... I enjoy the large historical grand campaigns to the exclusion of the smaller scenarios that might be included in a wargame title. In fact I never play a smaller scenario at all ... I attribute this to one thing, my intense interest in military history. If I'm playing a campaign about an historical event that I'm familiar with, I want to play the entire thing, not just a small snippet of what I've read about ...


Assuming you get there to play the entire thing.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Yogi the Great
... Although for example in the HPS civil war series, I also occaisionally will play the main battle scenarios at times. Especially if I want to be closer to the actual historic battle situation. For example if you play the Gettysburg campaign, you may not fight at Gettysburg at all, and/or if you do, it will no longer be the "historic" battle situation by the time you get there.


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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/10/2009 12:46:56 AM   
pzgndr

 

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I do enjoy grand campaigns, but there are two reasons why I also enjoy smaller campaigns:

1) A motivation for playing wargames is to simulate a battle or campaign and learn from it, try to do better or differently. A smaller/shorter campaign is just another wargame with initial conditions you may not otherwise experience in a grand campaign that deviates from the historical path. A WWII 1942 scenario can be just as exciting and challenging as a 1939 grand campaign. It all depends on what you're itching for.

2) For games against the computer opponent, some smaller/shorter campaigns may be more challenging and more satisfying. For example, in SC and CEAW where the Axis and Allied AIs do not handle North Africa and Med very well, the 1942 or later scenarios can usually play better than the 1939 grand campaign since the North Africa issue is moot. This isn't always true, but clearly there are some scenarios in games where the AI performs much better than in other scenarios.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/10/2009 12:47:40 AM   
GaryChildress

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim D Burns

If I'm playing some sci-fi or fantasy game, I'm totally disinterested in learning the arbitrary details about the grand campaign some guy made up on the fly. I'd much rather just enjoy playing the game system itself and that is accomplished easily with the smaller scenarios or in skirmish mode.

It's the game system itself that I play sci-fi or fantasy games for, not the story line....

Jim



This probably hits it right on the head. Purely fictional/fantasy storylines just don't have much appeal to me either.

I did think of one more exception though. I really did enjoy the Code Name Panzers campaigns. They weren't really set too much around any kind of story other than first you're fighthing in Poland and then France and Russia (sort of like Panzer General). Codename Panzers did incorporate the one thing I can't resist in a campaign, the ability to nurture and accumulate experience in a battlegroup, fighting through various scenarios. I do like RTS campaigns where you have to fight with purchased units in between battles instead of building them on the battlefield with resources.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/10/2009 2:26:25 AM   
Rodwell


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I only play Grand Campaigns.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/10/2009 2:27:56 AM   
Southernland


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I usually start the GC before the tutorials, believing that any good game can be learned by osmosis.  I find I tend to get so much more from the games by playing the "before understanding any damned thing" stage  followed by the "ahhhh now that makes sense at last stage"   Its almost like getting two games for the price of one. 
 

Also used to make plastic kitsets without using the instructions, again a brilliant idea as by the time I finished the tenth kitset I generally had parts enough left over to complete an eleventh

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/10/2009 1:58:35 PM   
Fred98


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rodwell
I only play Grand Campaigns.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim D Burns
I'm like you, I enjoy the large historical grand campaigns to the exclusion of the smaller scenarios that might be included in a wargame title.



So each of you feel a game should only have one scenario - and that it be titled Grand Campaign.

Why should any game have more than one scenario (Grand Campaign) ?

-








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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/10/2009 2:25:59 PM   
Jim D Burns


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe 98
So each of you feel a game should only have one scenario - and that it be titled Grand Campaign.

Why should any game have more than one scenario (Grand Campaign) ?


Of course not, there are plenty of people that play the smaller scenarios I'm sure. And many who probably never even play the grand campaign for their own reasons. I just have my personal preferences and I prefer the larger campaigns. Choice is always a good thing in any game.

Jim


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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/10/2009 4:57:15 PM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

When you buy a game that has a Grand Campaign (GC) and also smaller campaigns, do you typically play the smaller campaigns, the GC or both? Whenever I buy a game with a GC, for some reason, I always find myself attracted to the GC and completely ignore the smaller campaigns or scenarios. I guess my logic is that by playing the GC I am basically, more or less, playing all the smaller campaigns wrapped up into one. So I sort of see the smaller campaigns as redundant or unnecessary unless I am trying to learn the game or something. Even when I am trying to learn the game I usually end up trying to learn via the GC. In fact the ONLY thing I don't like about Close Combat Modern Tactics is that it lacks any kind of campaign.

I almost never finish Grand Campaigns, as I have no real reason to.

I like games that have a reasonable scale and represent some reasonable situation. For example playing a commander with a specified rank that commands a specified unit during certain period of time.
The player character should have realistic knowledge of the situation and realistic abilities to influence the situation.
So, no magical, super-precise knowledge of placement of every friendly unit, no magical instant-communication, etc.

Taking that, let's say that the player plays a platoon commander during an operation.
What would be his chances of surviving the whole grand campaign?
Would he be able to advance in ranks?

So, that's something that would interest me as a campaign.

Lack of campaign was one of the things that I didn't dislike about CCMT - taking in account how grotesquely unrealistic were campaigns from previous CC games - Platoon Tycoon 3 and Godlike Combat 4 and 5, it wasn't a big loss for me.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

The only exception to this "rule" for me is RTS games like Command & Conquer, Age of Empires or other similar RTS games which are purely science fiction. For some reason I rather play stand alone scenarios in "skirmish" mode in games like these. Something about campaigns in purely fiction games just doesn't appeal to me. I don't know why.

I bought games from C&C series only to play campaign and watch cutscenes. I didn't really like the gameplay itself, but the campaign was awesome, especially in C&C:TS.
When I play GCs in normal wargames, I miss a story, that would give any reason to drag on the slaughter.

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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/11/2009 1:14:05 AM   
GaryChildress

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

I like games that have a reasonable scale and represent some reasonable situation. For example playing a commander with a specified rank that commands a specified unit during certain period of time.
The player character should have realistic knowledge of the situation and realistic abilities to influence the situation.
So, no magical, super-precise knowledge of placement of every friendly unit, no magical instant-communication, etc.


I take it you don't like any of the Close Combat series then? The only sort of "real time" game I can think of that might match the quality of no "magical" knowledge of every friendly unit would probably be a first person shooter where you basically experience the battlefield in the first person perspective. After-all first person is the only way any of us truly experience the world. Otherwise I don't know of any games, especially strategy games, that have fog of war from the commanders perspective pertaining to friendly units. Most all games I know of involve knowing the exact placement of friendly units. Some games, like Close Combat, are basically set up where you are practically viewing the battlefield as though from an observation plane that can't be shot down or something.

< Message edited by Gary Childress -- 6/11/2009 1:15:43 AM >


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RE: Grand Campaign vs Smaller Campaigns - 6/11/2009 5:03:28 AM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

I take it you don't like any of the Close Combat series then?

As a fun but stale pop-tactical game that allows to lead some little dudes against other little dudes and watch them kill each other and is easily moddable (i.e. something like Command & Conquer series)?
Yes, I find it quite enjoyable.

As a game that pretends to accurately depict tactical warfare and it's challenges?
Not really.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

The only sort of "real time" game I can think of that might match the quality of no "magical" knowledge of every friendly unit would probably be a first person shooter where you basically experience the battlefield in the first person perspective. After-all first person is the only way any of us truly experience the world.

FPS games are nothing like reality - the main problem is that human functioning is based on synergy - there are many senses, various ways of communication, that allow to perceive the world and communicate in a reasonable manner - in FPS games you're just a floating camera with a microphone.
Human functioning in FPS games is greatly impaired.

I tried various flight simulations, I tried Operation Flashpoint...
Both terrain orientation and command and control are usually horrible and nothing like in real life.

So, trying to emulate the "real" FPP perspective without some sort of Matrix-style virtual reality is futile.

What would be much more effective would be isolating units (so that they wouldn't act like a hive-mind) and layering information.
Any sharing of knowledge would require an act of communication.

There could be three basic layers - main map where the player moves as a commander, with a CC-style map with fog of war reducing the view to his sensory input - pitch black for the places that weren't seen by the player and translucent to simulate memory.
Player could be able to roughly locate sounds, see things in vision cone, etc. - all the sensory input would be presented on this map.

Second layer - a plan - pre-battle recon data, given during briefing or something like that. Sometimes it can be non-existant or grossly inaccurate. Your objectives may be marked on it.

Third layer - data received during the battle - map where units and reported/perceived events are placed. It would be vague and unclear - for example, you send a recon team to check what is there - they go and you lose them from your sight - on that "map", they are marked as an icon that whose destination x meters east.
They don't have radio, so you don't receive any data from them.
If they get attacked, you hear shots and a combat event icon is placed in that direction.

If they return, they'll describe the terrain and it will appear on the third layer map and would enable giving more specific orders.

Of course, some data you get may be inaccurate and lead to mistakes. It would be probably based on skill-checks.

The point is to avoid both the godlike knowledge and the unrealistic limitations of FPP games.

Now, there would be a problem of Command & Control and communication in general - if you are supported by tanks, you can't just magically order them - you have to communicate your intent, which can be a problem if you don't have a radio contact with them.

Different armies and units would give you different levels of flexibility and different types of C&C.

Sometimes one would use radio (which could get broken), sometimes runners, etc.

I like military history and it's interesting to read how different armies are facing different challenges


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

Some games, like Close Combat, are basically set up where you are practically viewing the battlefield as though from an observation plane that can't be shot down or something.

I would rather say, that everyone is a part of an ultra-fast, ultra-efficient communication network where everyone has a camera.
Something like a Land Warrior system.
Actually, one could as well add powered armour and XM-29 for everyone, at least weapons would be on similar tech level as communications.

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